Detecting hydrogen gas by single electron tunneling based sensors: an image processing and simulation study

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Abstract. We present a hydrogen sensor based on single electron tunneling at two dimensional (2D) hexagonal closed packed arrays of palladium nano-islands. Parameters of the hexagonal closed packed arrays of palladium nanoparticles were extracted from experimental TEM results by image processing methods. Using SIMON simulator, emergences of the coulomb blockade were inspected by studying Current-Voltage (IV) characteristics of equivalent circuits consisting of palladium islands and tunneling junctions. After ensuring the emergence of Coulomb blockade phenomena in these arrays, the possibilities of using these arrays as an ultra-low power consumption hydrogen sensor were studied. The changes in IV characteristics were investigated after exposing to hydrogen gas according to the lattice parameter expansion of palladium nanoparticles at different pressures of hydrogen gas. The change in the resistance of the device before and after exposing to hydrogen was extracted. The obtained results show that this configuration shows single electron tunneling and can be used as the hydrogen gas sensor. The response of the sensor is less than 15 seconds with measuring range as low as 0.5%  H2.


Monodisperse Palladium Nanoparticles, Hydrogen gas sensor, Single electron tunneling, Electrical

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